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Gluten-Free Certification and Labeling: Unraveling Gluten-Free Shopping in the United States

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In 2014, the  FDA’s food labeling regulations were enacted.  Basically, in order for any food to be labeled “Gluten-Free” the manufacturer must ensure that the product contains less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. 

While this was a small victory for gluten-free labeling, the manufacturers are not required to test their finished product for the presence of gluten in  any specific way.  If this sounds confusing, it’s because it is! 

(PS–there is currently NEW legislation working its way through US Congress making labeling even more clearer!)

Therefore, my family and I rely on the following methods to check if products are truly gluten free:

  • Look for an independent gluten-free labeling seal,
  • Read product testing reports at ,
    (Gluten Free Watchdog independently tests products both with gluten-free packaging claims and without and the testing reports online)
  • and contact the manufacturer directly.

In this post, I’m going to unravel the world of what those gluten free logos are that you see on packages, plus give you suggestions of my favorite brands who adhere to the standards so you can add them to your shopping list!

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In the United States, there are currently only 4 gluten-free independent certification agencies. 

What is an independent certification agency? 

These are agencies which manufacturers can hire to independently test their products for the presence of gluten.  Once a product is deemed to meet the standards of the agency, the manufacturer can then place the agency’s logo on their packaging.  All four agencies exceed the FDA’s requirements.  

Here are the 4 gluten-free independent certification agencies whose logos you may see in the United States.

This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  My full disclosure isn’t that interesting, but you can find it here.

1. Beyond Celiac Endorsed Gluten-Free Certification Program

certified gluten free logo by beyond celiac gluten free certification program

The GFCP is the first North American Alliance of gluten-free labeling (meaning you will see this logo in both the United States and Canada).

This gluten-free certification goes beyond just testing final products for the presence of gluten, but also inspects the manufacturer’s manufacturing process, sourcing, equipment and more.

Some of my favorite brands certified by the GFCP to add to your shopping list are:
Baby Mum-Mum;  KinnikinnickSimply Asia; and the live G free line from Aldi

2. Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)

certified gluten free label from gfco

The GFCO tests both United States and international manufacturer’s finished products to ensure that the final product contains 10ppm or less of gluten. 

Beyond this, GFCO inspects equipment and requires manufacturers receiving gluten-free certification to continually submit already-approved products for routine review.

Some of my favorite brands to add to your shopping list who are certified by GFCO are:
Barney & Co; Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP; Purely Elizabeth; King Arthur FlourPrimal Kitchen

Note: GFCO is rolling out a new label. It looks like the one below. You may see either one on GFCO packaging.

new certified gluten free label from gfco

3. The Public Health and Safety Organization (NSF)

The NSF conducts on-site inspections of their manufacturers’ processes and equipment and certifies through random batch sampling that products test at 15ppm or less of gluten.

Some of my favorite brands with gluten-free certification by NSF are:
TruRoots Ancient Grain; BetterBody Foods. These are some basics to add to your weekly plan and shopping list.

4. National Celiac Association (NCA)

certified gluten free logo for the national celiac association

The NCA has very strict standards for gluten-free certification ensuring that each final product tests at 5ppm or less of gluten.

Some of my favorite NCA certified brands that I add to my shopping lists are:
Daiya; Joy Cone Company; Hodgson Mill

One place I love to shop for gluten-free food is at Thrive Market.  We don’t have any health stores nearby and Thrive has a great selection (plus, you can filter by diet type: gluten-free, paleo, keto, and more!). 

Click here to get a free month trial of Thrive Market and save up to $20 on your first order!

Learn more about my experience with Thrive Market and what I order regularly here!

PS—Don’t be deceived by brands who have their own ‘label’ which appears official (for example, Frito-Lay’s, Bob’s Red Mill, or General Mills). 

What about other gluten free logos outside of these four?

While these products may in-fact be gluten-free and safe for consumption by Celiac Disease and others requiring a strict gluten-free standard, this is not an independent certification

For products like this, I search Gluten Free Watchdog and contact manufacturers.

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Sunday 15th of August 2021

It’s important state that the Certified Gluten Free symbol has apparently been rebranded to a GC. Not sure why they changed it but something to look into.

Sharon McCaskill

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Yes, they did change it--I'll add it, some products still show the old logo, some have updated to the new one. Thanks for reminding me!


Saturday 3rd of November 2018

Thanks for the info on this subject. My wife and older son are suppose to be on a gluten free diet it but its hard to find reasonable priced food. Be sure to hope over and visit mysite:


Monday 5th of November 2018

Glad you found this information helpful--thanks for visiting!


Thursday 26th of July 2018

Thanks for all the concrete info! It's already hard enough being gluten free, reading labels can be a whole different ball game!


Friday 27th of July 2018

Once I learned this it makes shopping gluten-free SO much easier. I literally just look for those logos!

Mallory Thielges

Thursday 26th of July 2018

Thank you for this post! I’m working on going gluten free and this sure helps. Will definitely be bookmarking your blog. Thank you :)

Alicia Potts

Sunday 22nd of July 2018

wow! so many different things to think about. I wish it was easier. thanks for the post.

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